There is no certain or exact way of charging legal fees for civil litigation. Litigators can’t decide on a fixed price because every case, client and lawyer is different. However, a quote of how much they will charge to litigate your matter can be requested.
Factors that affect the charge for civil litigation:
Practice area(s) involved in the matter
Depending on the case and how rare that expertise is, litigators may have different charge on them.
Suing companies or people of different reasons might all have very different starting points in terms of fees, depending on the current market for each practice area.
Law firm-specific factors
Every lawyer and law firm will charge different rate for even the same work due to factors like:
- The size or location of the firm
- The seniority of or demand for a particular lawyer
- Whether the lawyer or law firm has a reputation for a particular practice area
Every lawyer and law firm will have a floor of fees which they cannot undercut without losing money after paying their overheads, and that floor will be different in every firm.
Complexity of the matter
The amount of time and effort needed to put into the matter or case, complexity of the matter and amount of lawyers needed to help will be pre-assessed by the lawyer.
Some cases may only take fewer man-hours and resources than a huge dispute that involves bigger companies and complexity.
Quantum of the dispute
Quantum of dispute could mean the amount you are claiming for and it might take effect on the charge of legal fees.
If the quantum of the dispute is high, the case will be heard in the High Court instead of the District Court and Magistrate’s Court. The market of High Court litigators is a smaller and more expensive one and having to enter that market will increase your fees significantly.
Generally, a very high quantum also means a lot of work is required and higher priority with more attention from the lawyer- which equals higher fees.
Other Costs to Factor in